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CPU thermal paste introduction

When it comes to the central processing unit (aka CPU), no one can neglect the importance of a thermal paste/compound in the operation of dissipating heat generated by the CPU during the workload time. But have you asked about the history of this little paste that has become an essential element in every computer build?

The idea behind producing thermal pastes

Thermal grease (also called CPU grease, heat paste, heat sink compound, heat sink paste, thermal compound, thermal gel, thermal interface material, or thermal paste) is a kind of thermally conductive (but usually electrically insulating) compound, which is commonly used as an interface between heat sinks and heat sources (e.g., high-power semiconductor devices). When your CPU is getting too hot, it must dispose of this generated heat or else it will burn out the microscopic circuits of the CPU itself. From here, using a thermal paste for cpu cooling is very important for this purpose. The main role of thermal grease is to eliminate air gaps or spaces (which act as thermal insulator) from the interface area so as to maximize heat transfer. Application of thermal paste is essential to keep the processor cool and happy. With its unique high-density filling of micronized silver and enhanced thermally conductive ceramic particles, Arctic Silver 5 provides a new level of performance and stability. Heat management is important to consider when constructing or maintaining your computer. Thermal paste is intended to increase the thermal conductivity between the surfaces of both the CPU heatspreader and the heatsink itself.

Applying thermal paste the right way on CPU surface

How to apply a thermal paste

Thermal grease is an example of a Thermal interface material. Follow this general guide to reapply thermal paste after removing a heat sink or CPU during a repair. Available at Arctic Silver resellers worldwide. Too much heat can spell death for your sensitive components, and if you’re overclocking it’s even more of an issue. Applying the thermal paste on the surface of both CPU and heat sink is a very simple action to carry out. You just need first to pick a relevant cpu paste then pour it slightly on the upper surface of the CPU body. Afterwards place the heat sink over it and tightly press it in order to spread the paste all over the surface equally. It attempts to compensate for irregularities between the two surfaces – tiny microscopic bumps or ridges which may hinder proper thermal conductivity between the two surfaces. As opposed to thermal adhesive, thermal grease does not add mechanical strength to the bond between heat source and heat sink. For more advanced directions, specific to your CPU, check out Arctic Silver’s page of application methods. Arctic Silver 5 is the reference premium thermal compound. Knowing how to apply thermal paste correctly is one of the foundations of proper computer cooling. The heatsink is obviously designed to dissipate heat from the CPU itself so the better the contact between the CPU and the heatsink the more heat will be dissipated and the cooler the CPU.

Eliminating high temperature

It will have to be coupled with a mechanical fixation mechanism such as screws, allowing for pressure between the two, spreading the thermal grease onto the heat source. Thermal paste is responsible for conducting heat from the processor to the heat sink. A thermal paste will help significantly decrease the temperature of the CPU caused by processing heavy workload of tasks. Arctic Silver 5 is optimized for a wide range of bond lines between modern high-power CPUs and high performance heatsinks or water-cooling solutions. Follow this guide to learn how. There is a risk of damage to the motherboard from excess use of thermal compound. Thermal grease consists of a polymerizable liquid matrix and large volume fractions of electrically insulating, but thermally conductive filler. Reassembling a computer without applying thermal paste will cause the processor to overheat, resulting in permanent damage. Arctic Silver 5 uses three unique shapes and sizes of pure silver particles to maximize particle-to-particle contact area and thermal transfer. Choose the proper thermal paste. This mainly comes down to the fact that some makes of thermal paste use metal compounds in their paste since metal is a better thermal conductor.

wrong application of thermal paste

Typical matrix materials are epoxies, silicones, urethanes, and acrylates, solvent-based systems, hot-melt adhesives, and pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes are also available. The computer processor cannot disperse heat alone without a medium between it and the heat sink that conduct heat but not electricity. Before applying a new layer of thermal paste, you must first remove any old thermal paste from both the processor surface and the heat sink. Arctic Silver 5 contains over 88% thermally conductive filler by weight. Most of the basic thermal grease compounds contain silicone and zinc oxide, while more expensive compounds contain excellent heat conductors such as silver or ceramic. You have to find the right CPU cooling method in order to lower the overall temperature of the computer components. Silver is a very common example.


Aluminum oxide, boron nitride, zinc oxide, and increasingly aluminum nitride are used as fillers for these types of adhesives. Use the flat end of a spudger to scrape off as much solidified thermal paste from the copper core(s) of the heat sink as possible. The history of thermal paste in computer industry is too long compared to any other part. In addition to micronized silver, Arctic Silver 5 also contains sub-micron zinc oxide, aluminum oxide and boron nitride particles. The advantage to the silver or ceramic thermal grease is that you will have a more efficient heat transmission. Obviously metals also conduct electricity and so can short out components on the motherboard if it does seep over.